ISPA Secretariat met with Campbell Cowie and Chris Rowsell from Ofcom this afternoon to discuss the ongoing work surrounding the DE Act.
Ofcom explained that the Code will look at four areas: process – how a Copyright Infringement Report (CIR) is generated and sent and the notification process; appeals for consumers; dispute resolution between ISPs and RHs; and costs, which BIS will be focusing on.
The Code is due to be published within the next ‘couple of weeks’, though no date has been set. As Ofcom did not anticipate industry to come together and produce an effective code as per the DE Bill/Act, it had been planning what a Code may look like for some time and had not relied on one side of the debate to influence the content.
Due to the short timescales Ofcom has been working to, the Code will be instructional rather than setting out line-by-line what is required. For example, instead of dictating a standard approach for a CIR, those affected will have to tell Ofcom how they will go about it and Ofcom will then approve it or recommend changes.
The Code will initially be limited to ISPs with around 400,000 subscribers – currently 7 ISPs – and not including mobile broadband, but the long-term ambition is to target those ISPs with copyright infringing consumers. So downloaders who migrate to an ISP not included in the soft launch of the Code will eventually be covered as Ofcom follows the traffic. Ofcom has also been tasked with analysing the level of copyright infringement and barriers to innovative and emerging business models and report back to the Secretary of State, and would be actively seeking views on this.
My thanks to the ISPA Secretariat for this feedback.